27th Oct 2016

Farmers and working classes top the No vote

French farmers, workers and public servants showed the strongest hostility to the EU constitution, while students, professionals and wealthier people were more keen to support it.

According to preliminary analysis by the Ipsos agency, the majority of citizens in the voting categories rejected the treaty with an overall turnout reported at 70.5 per cent.

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  • Farmers were among the most opposed to the treaty (Photo: EUobserver)

Frenchmen gave a louder "non" to the constitution than women, with 57 per cent voting against, as opposed to 53 per cent of female opponents. The result differs from the previous vote on the Maastricht treaty, where the women’s no was slightly more prominent.

Within the various age groups, the oldest citizens – 60 years and more – were the only ones to reach a majority in favour. On the other hand, middle aged people voted against on an almost 2 to 1 majority.

Just as in the previous vote on the Maastricht treaty, French farmers and workers voted overwhelmingly against with 70 per cent and 79 per cent respectively for the No, while professionals and senior managers cast their poll in favour of the document (65 per cent).

The referendum showed a significant u-turn in sentiment among public sector employees. While the majority accepted the previous treaty, 64 per cent rejected the constitution on Sunday.

Just as in 1992, unemployed French voters reached the highest proportion of the no vote (71 per cent), while students (54 per cent) and pensioners (56 per cent) voted in favour.

Citizens with higher education diplomas proved to be more in favour of the treaty than those with no degrees or with basic qualifications. Those earning significantly above average standards also showed more support for the constitution.

Small towns and rural areas rejected the treaty, while Paris and its suburbs voted in favour.

In terms of party affiliation, citizens voted along the same lines as their party leaders – with the highest support coming from the centrist UDF and UMP parties, while the strongest rejection came from communists and far-right supporters.

The socialist (56 per cent) and the green voters (60 per cent) also rejected the treaty, while both groups had supported the Maastricht treaty - the socialist supporters by 78 per cent, according to Ipsos.

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